Sitka’s un-bearable problem?

Is Sitka’s bear problem more about animal control, or social engineering? Sitka’s Assembly seems likely to eliminate warnings, and increase fines, for residents who leave attractive garbage in their cans before pick up day. The move is no surprise for the members of the community’s Bear Task Force, which sees tighter enforcement as a necessary step – along with awareness and education – on the road to solving the problem.

But there are many Sitkans – especially people who have lived here for a long time – who can remember when bears were never a problem. They wonder what’s changed.

Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologist Phil Mooney, Sitka’s police chief Sheldon Schmitt, and Sitka Conservation Society executive director Andrew Thoms all sit on the task force.

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